Yuvraj Singh and his ankle is a big worry for India as they prepare to face the West Indies in the semifinals of the ICC World T20 2016. With the match just a couple of days away, India are concerned about the fitness of the left-hander, and, as a result, have brought in Manish Pandey as cover.
While batting in the chase against Australia Sunday, Yuvraj rolled his ankle and was seen in a lot of pain, having to receive treatment a couple of times. Yuvraj soldiered on, scoring a valuable 21, which helped steady the India chase, before Virat Kohli did what he does best.
However, with the big knockout game against the West Indies to come in the World T20, India are not willing to take any chances, and have brought in Pandey, so impressive in the ODI series against Australia earlier this year, as cover.
Yuvraj has had an MRI done, according to PTI, and depending on the result of that scan, a decision on whether to officially replace the left-hander with the KKR batsman will be taken.
Either way, MS Dhoni would like to have options when it comes to deciding on his playing XI, if Yuvraj is deemed unfit for the semifinal against the West Indies Thursday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Ajinkya Rahane is the only batting cover in the official 15-man India squad at the moment, but the problem is that the Mumbaikar is not the best option to have at No.5. Rahane is at his best opening the innings in T20 cricket, and while Kohli has showed the art of conventional batting in the shortest format of the game, Rahane is yet to convince as far as batting lower down the order is concerned.
Pandey is much better equipped to bat at No.5 in T20s than Rahane, even if it would be quite unfair not to give the latter an opportunity, having sat on the bench for the entire tournament so far. With the form that Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma are in at the moment, it might not be such a bad idea to bring in Rahane for the former, but Dhoni is not someone who likes to make too many changes to his playing XI, unless his hand is forced.
The India skipper will hope Yuvraj recovers in time and he does not have to make any change to the team that beat Australia in a must-win match in Mohali.